The rich just get richer. No, it is not the Tennessee Titans. It is the AFC as a whole. The Denver Broncos made a deal with the Seattle Seahawks to acquire quarterback Russell Wilson this off-season. Derek Carr and the Raiders snagged WR Davante Adams from the Green Bay Packers. The Colts traded for veteran QB Matt Ryan. Lamar Jackson is back and healthy for the Ravens. Deshaun Watson is a Cleveland Brown, but who knows how much he will play this year or beyond. Regardless, conference foes have made big moves on offense during this off-season.
Wilson joins Patrick Mahomes, Justin Herbert, and Derek Carr as the arms in the AFC West. That arms race is easily the most daunting in the entire league. You could certainly make the case that Titans QB Ryan Tannehill would be the worst QB in that division if he were in it. Luckily, Tennessee and Tannehill are not in that division. Regardless, the concept remains.
The AFC is becoming more and more talented at quarterback. The Titans possess one of the best defenses in the NFL and have Derrick Henry to lead the charge on offense. That being said, is that enough?
The Titans did make a move to get veteran WR Robert Woods. That’s a nice piece, especially for their offense. They traded away A.J. Brown, and the depth on the offensive line is still a large question mark. The situation with Brown was a sticky one, so Tennessee did what they felt was necessary. Nonetheless, you cannot view that as anything but a negative as far as this season is concerned. Treylon Burks may have a nice season as a rookie, but it is impossible to project him to have similar production as Brown would have.
For the Titans, the division is certainly easier than some of the others in the AFC. Consider what the teams in the AFC North and AFC West have to deal with in their division.
The North has the reigning AFC champion in the Bengals. The Steelers have a top tier defense and are always competitive under Mike Tomlin. The Browns have one of the best overall rosters in the conference, but QB is still up in the air. Baltimore will be a force once again on both sides of the ball. As I mentioned before, the AFC West is packed-loaded with talent, especially on offense. You could make a case that all four teams in that division will be playoff-worthy by season’s end.
Meanwhile, in the AFC South, the Colts and Titans are definitely the favorites once again. The Texans and Jaguars will probably be improved, but they aren’t nearly there yet in the team-building process. The Titans must perform well inside the division in order to have any shot at contending in the AFC in the postseason. Seeding may be more important than ever before with the depth of talent in the conference.
This is the biggest season of Ryan Tannehill’s career. He must perform up to par as the Titans believe they can contend in the crowded AFC. Having Derrick Henry is a massive boost, but the passing game will have to be good enough to threaten in games against the likes of Herbert, Mahomes, Wilson, Ryan, and many more. It’s going to be a tall task for Tannehill and the Titans.